March 12, 2024

Adjusting Your Sleep During Daylight Savings

adjust your sleep during daylight saving

All of us here at Our Sleep Guide are big believers in great sleep. We think you should get great sleep all year round! Which is why we are here to give you all of the information you need to get great sleep during Daylight Savings Time. We answer questions on when it happens, whether you are losing sleep or gaining it. As well as tips on how you can adjust your sleep schedule in order to sleep well and avoid groggy mornings or late nights. Stick around to see how you can sleep well during daylight savings.

Daylight Savings in Spring – AKA Spring Forward!

how to get better sleep throughout spring forwardSpring is the trouble maker when it comes to daylight savings. It is the time of year when instead of gaining and hour of sleep, you lose one. To properly set your clocks, skip forward and hour. (E.g. if it is midnight when you change your clocks, you would set it to 1am)

When does it happen? 

  • Sunday, March 13th 2022

More or Less Sleep? 

  • 1 Hour Less (23 Hour Day)

Daylight Savings in Fall – AKA Fall Back!

fallback daylight saving time schedule shiftAw yes, daylight savings time in the fall! It is a good time. This is the time of year where you get an added hour to your sleep. This addition can be a joy for all those who struggle to get in all the sleep they need and wake up nice and early in the mornings.

If you are already a morning person, then you may get slightly frustrated that you now have an extra hour to your morning. However, for many it serves as a welcome restart to getting up earlier and enjoying the time shift.

When does it happen? 

  • Sunday, November 6th 2022

More or Less Sleep? 

  • 1 Hour More (25 Hour Day)

How to Sleep Well During Daylight Savings:

Adjust Your Schedule a Week Early

adjust your sleep schedule during time changesA good way to adjust to daylight savings time, is by starting early. Try adjusting your sleep schedule as early as a week beforehand.

This way you can do it little by little instead of with one big shift of an hour overnight. Each day wake up a little earlier (or later) than you normally would.

This can also be a helpful sleep tip if you are waking up kids as well as yourself. Children often have a harder time adjusting to sleep schedules than adults do.

Giving them some time to slowly adjust may make it easier on them.

Change Your Bedtime

go to bed earlyWhen it comes to adjusting your sleep schedule for daylight saving time, it is often thought of that the morning schedule needs to change. However, we recommend starting with the time you head off to sleep first. By adjusting your bed time by either going to sleep an hour early or and hour later than usual. This will help your body to naturally adjust to the change in schedule faster than if you were to only adjust what time to you wake up in the morning.

By getting more or less sleep respectively, it will either help you to sleep in longer or wake up earlier. Making the adjustment much easier. We highly recommend this tip, especially in spring when you are needing to wake up an hour earlier than you normally would in order to stay on schedule.

You May Also Enjoy: How To Get Your Kids Back On A Sleep Schedule

Move Your Coffee Break

change when you drink your coffeeIf you always take a coffee break around the same time every day, be sure to adjust your coffee break with the time change. If you are particularly sensitive to caffeine you may find yourself craving it earlier or later than what the new time on the clock would suggest.

However, adjusting your caffeine intake with the new time will help your body to adjust to the new schedule. This will then of course make it easier to fall asleep and wake up as well. That being said, caffeine can be used during the spring time change to help you to rise earlier than you would normally.

Considering cutting out caffeine? Click here to learn more about how it could help you sleep.

Adjust Your Eating Schedule

adjust your eating times accordinglyIt is more than just when you fall asleep, and when you wake up that help to regulate your circadian rhythm. Everything you do from your workout routine to what time you eat have an impact on your circadian rhythm. Which is why we recommend shifting your eating schedule along with your sleep schedule. This will help your body to recalculate much faster than if you don’t.

This is not just your lunch break, but this also includes your breakfast, dinner, and even when you typically snack.

If you are unsure of what time you typically eat, try to get a good gauge on your eating schedule before daylight saving time. If you are an irregular eater, then you may find that scheduling your meal times might help you to regulate your sleep schedule.

You May Also Enjoy: The Best & Worst Foods To Eat Before Bed

Wake Up with Light

get better sleep in the spring daylight saving light based alarm clockIt is called daylight saving time, right? So why does it sometimes feel like we are getting less sunlight in the morning than we would like? We don’t make the rules, we just follow them. While the entire point of daylight saving is to get the most out of daylight as possible, sometimes you will still find yourself attempting to wake up and start your day before the sun rises.

To make things easier on yourself, we recommend investing in a light alarm clock. This is a handy tip that has personally changed the way I wake up in the morning. Handy light based alarm clocks work with your biology to wake you up naturally as the sun would instead of with the sound of a blaring alarm.

How does it work? Light based alarm clocks can be set to slowly turn on light in your bedroom to mimic the sunrising. This slowly wakes you up out of your sleep naturally by working with your circadian rhythm. Once you have used a light-based alarm clock, you will never want to go back.

Learn more how your circadian rhythm works in our post: Chronotypes: Your Circadian Typology

Avoid Long Naps

how to adjust to a new sleep scheduleIf you are trying to really get used to your new sleep routine as quickly as possible. Then we highly recommend avoiding long naps. This is because a long nap can further confuse and disrupt your ability to adjust to your new routine.

If you do end up in dire need of a nap, try to keep it around 15 to 20 minutes long.

This should be enough to give you a boost in energy without going into a deep sleep that would leave you feeling more tired than ever.

Learn more about the art of napping in our post: The Art Of Napping: The Long & Short Of Naps

Create a Nightly Routine

create a night routine to do before bedWe recommend a night (and morning) routine to everyone. Having a set routine that you do every night before bed can really help solidify your circadian rhythm. It helps to send cues to your brain that it is time to go to sleep.

As you go through the routine your body and mind pick up on these cues and start producing melatonin and getting you prepped for going to sleep naturally. The more you stick to your routine, the better your body will be at picking up on these cues and getting you ready for bed.

When you have a strict nighttime routine and you adjust to a new sleep schedule, your routine can help tell your body and mind that it is time to go to bed. Making it easier to get to sleep at a new time.

You May Also Enjoy: Stress Free Nightly Routine & Kids Bedtime Routine

Try Taking Melatonin

take melatonin at nightIf you really have a hard time adjusting to a new sleep schedule, perhaps it is springtime and you are struggling to get to bed earlier than usual with the time change. Then melatonin may be a great way to naturally get to sleep earlier. Our bodies naturally produce melatonin in order to induce sleep.

A melatonin supplement will help to induce sleep. We suggest taking it 30 minutes before bed. Although you should always follow the recommendations of your doctor and on the specific melatonin you are taking. Be sure to talk to your doctor about adding melatonin before adding it into your routine.

Learn more about melatonin in our post: A Guide To Using Melatonin

Stay in Bed:

stay in bed even if you are not asleepIf you are having a difficult time staying asleep an hour later than normal, we recommend just resting your body in bed. Take the extra hour and just rest. If you must, you can read, write in a journal, answer emails, watch some TV. Just take that extra time to rest your body and mind for an hour and then get out of bed at your usual wake up time. This will eventually help you to adjust to the new sleep schedule.

If you don’t stay in bed, and instead get up and start your day, then it will take much longer for your body to adjust to the new sleep schedule.

This rule also applies to those who have a hard time falling asleep earlier. All you need to do is get into bed at the assigned bedtime you would like to be going to sleep at. Then rest your eyes and body. You don’t have to be asleep right away. Just get used to getting in bed at that time and eventually your body will take over.

Struggle with insomnia? Check out our post: Guide To Insomnia

How Long Does It Take to Adjust to Daylight Savings?

just rest and your circadian rhythm will eventually adjustThe length of time it takes to adjust to a new sleep schedule will vary drastically from person to person. During daylight saving you are really only adjusting your schedule by a single hour. Although it can seem like much more sometimes. While some may not feel much of a difference at all, others may take weeks to get back into the swing of things.

Following our tips and tricks should help move things along with getting adjusted to your new sleep schedule. However, if it takes more than a few weeks to adjust, you may want to chat with your doctor to see if there is something making it difficult for you to get your best sleep possible.

Click HERE to learn more about the different Circadian Typologies.

Get Your Sleep During Daylight Savings:

All of these sleep tips for getting great sleep during daylight saving time are all to help you ease through the transition. The truth is that no matter what your body will adjust to the new time change over time. When in doubt, trust that your body will eventually adjust to the new normal. You will be able to get the sleep you need.

Have a question for us? Send us a message throughout our Contact Us page. We would be happy to help out in any way we can.

adjusting your schedule for better sleep